The Long Way Home

Occasionally, when I get REALLY frustrated with bureaucracy at work, I go into the stairwell and stomp my feet on the ground and yell. I try to do this in as grown-up and quiet a manner as I can manage. But that’s pretty rare. More often, I have an internal debate on whether or not I should post a veiled whiny remark on my Facebook page or not. You know the ones I’m talking about – the semi-mysterious, unexplained comment practically designed to elicit sympathy and curiosity from your friends that will most likely provoke a workplace spat if the person you’re complaining about reads it and realizes you’re complaining about them in a not-subtle-at-all way. Today was one of those days that I typed a complaint, thought about it for a minute, and deleted it.


Because it’s Thursday, November 1st, the temperature was above 60F, and I had a motorcycle to take me home the long way. Normally, my commute is about ten miles. When I take the long way home, it’s about 35 miles. It gives me a chance to think things through with nobody but the wind and my engine making noise. It’s on mostly deserted roads and under glorious open skies, and more than anything, it’s my meditative zone.

Today I was really glad I decided not to whine about things on Facebook and instead had some motorcycle therapy.

I was about eight miles down the long way home, cruising along at 75-ish, when I saw a biker pushing a gorgeous red chopper along the side of the road. I pulled off to the side to see if I could help, and it turns out that I could. This guy had just picked his bike up from the shop and something was wrong with his gas gauge, which had caused him to run out of fuel before he thought he would. I hopped on my bike and went to the nearest gas station, borrowed their loaner gas can and filled it up, then returned to the out-of-fuel biker on the side of the road. Then we both went back to the gas station, where he filled his tank up all the way and we parted ways.

One of the things I love about motorcycling communities is an unquestioning willingness to help out.  Like most kids, my parents always taught me to be cautious around strangers, but if there’s a stranded motorcyclist, my mom would be the first person to pull over and help out. Bikers stick together, and that’s the way it is. This is something that she taught all of us by practicing what she preaches. (Last time I had occasion to do this, I actually got to meet the man who played “Leatherface” in Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but that’s another story.) I’ve been rescued from the side of the road a couple of times, too, and good karma is something that every biker will need at one point or another.

So, back to my never-posted cranky Facebook status…

…it pretty much vanished along with that 75-mph wind in my face and the chance to do a good thing for a fellow person. No complaints. I’m so damn lucky sometimes I can’t even believe it.

Love, peace, and safe riding to all my biker family & friends out there,

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1 Comment

  1. Diane Tadehara

     /  November 1, 2012

    Aww, Sumiko, I can’t even begin to explain the benefit my heart gets knowing you were riding on this glorious day. I had the opportunity to teach the difference between a meltdown and a come apart today. Sadly it was through my demonstrative actions. I NEED GRACE! In every sense of the word. Ride safe, Baby. Keep the rubber side down.
    xoxo, Mom


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